Have You Played… Beetle Crazy Cup?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I was pretty new to games reviewing when cheery RPS Magazine tribute magazine PC Gamer handed me Beetle Crazy Cup to review in 2000. I’d been at it for less than a year, and had pretty much exclusively reviewed rubbish. I think they assumed Infogrames’ VW Beetle racing game was going to be ‘bish too, hence its coming my way. Turns out it was brill. I wasn’t really sure what to do.

I remember contacting the mag and nervously saying, “Er, um, I’m not sure this should just be a third-of-a-page column. It think it’s… I think it’s good?” They ended up agreeing to give it two pages, which was daunting stuff to me back then. Big league. (Here’s the unedited text I wrote.)

It was very silly. Seemingly set in the ’60s, but then filled with classic and modern VW cars, and even monster trucks. And, well, I won’t do it justice – have a look at how bonkers it was via this video by a Mr Vas709:

I’d love the see a racing game come out as daft and fun as Beetle Crazy Cup. Or a reboot! Someone get on that.


  1. Al__S says:

    Oh those innocent days when “3D Card” was a good enough description for the tech specs.
    Definitely didn’t buy this, can’t remember if I played a demo or not.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      I remember the old 3DFX draconian times… oh poor me, had to skip a lot of games because a Voodoo card would cost more than a car here where I live.

      At least now I can get back to that skipped catalogue every once in a while, and play them in glorious emulated 3DFX, like Unreal, Carmageddon 2 and Heavy Metal fakk 2. Talking of which, what about a “have you played Heavy Metal fakk 2”, heh?!

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I remember that sometimes demos would be 3DFX only even when the game itself didn’t require one. Used to drive me absolutely bonkers! I recall playing the Tomb Raider 2 demo with no textures so it was just white walls and white bodies.

        • Kasjer says:

          My first PC had this strange “professional use card” called Peremedia 2. It was fully compatible only with D3D and produced many artefacts in OpenGL along with sub-par performance in this mode. Thus, I was playing in software because a lot of games have not ran in OpenGL properly. Many times titles had missing lightmaps, transparency issues and missing textures. But imagine how pissed I was when even though it was capable of running Q3 demo at 640×480 16bit with vertex lighting (and decals turned off because they’ve looked bad), full version have not recognized it as OpenGL capable card. This made my dad to buy GeForce 2, lol – he couldn’t even play Quake with mouselook properly but couldn’t stand the fact a game which he bought for his kids cannot run on home PC :D

  2. Tiax says:

    Played it, loved it!

  3. mattjb says:

    I was in the same boat, doing reviews for GA-Source back then of mostly games that they considered third rate and not worth sending to their swamped main reviewers. When Beetle Buggin’ came to me in the mail (it was called Beetle Buggin’ here in the States for some reason) I thought the same thing everyone else did — that it was going to be terrible and not that fun.

    Like you, I found out quickly that I was completely wrong, and that I shouldn’t judge a game by its cover (or the name.) It was a very fun arcade racing game, had a great sense of speed, and the controls were excellent. My review, which ended up on GA-Racing, was suitably positive.

    The only other game to surprise me like this was the 2002 game, Project Nomads. That game was unique and pretty fun, and had elements of what we now know as the tower defense genre, though it was also a 3rd person shooter.

  4. Henke says:

    Pretty sure I read that review, John. I do remember playing the demo of this off a PCG cover CD. :)

    • battles_atlas says:

      Yes! Had forgotten this existed, but this piece reminds me that I played the PCG demo for weeks. As a kid I had no money to actually buy the game, but definitely would have.

  5. spathi says:

    remember it being one of my fave racing games. have not forgot it after all those years :-)

  6. spathi says:

    OP should write about Dethkarz as well!

  7. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Was this the same one that was on the N64? If not, I’ve played that and it was ace.

    • Merus says:

      I looked it up, and they are different games.

    • kevmscotland says:

      Beetle Adventure Racing (N64) was an amazing title though! I loved it.

    • Untruth says:

      Different game, same bizarre miracle where the game was ridiculously good despite all expectations to the contrary. So fun to drive and great shortcuts/secrets.